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    Russian Foreign Minsiter Sergei Lavrov stressed that it was impossible to fight successfully terrorism on a territory of a sovereign state without a proper coordination of actions with the legitimate authorities of that state.

    MOSCOW, December 9 (Sputnik) — Washington should coordinate the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria through direct contacts with Bashar Assad government and without Moscow’s mediation, Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.

    “I don’t think there is a need for our mediation in contacts between Damascus and the Americans,” Lavrov said, adding that there were plenty of opportunities for direct contacts between the sides.

    “We have called on the United States on numerous occasions to avoid ignoring the Syrian authorities in the fight against the Islamic State. However, Washington stubbornly insists that the US ‘cannot in principle’ recognize the legitimacy of the Bashar Assad regime,” the minister said.

    Lavrov stressed that it was impossible to fight successfully terrorism on a territory of a sovereign state without a proper coordination of actions with the legitimate authorities of that state.

    The United States has long argued that Bashar Assad’s government uses violence against its people, and in May 2011 US President Barack Obama signed an executive order putting into effect sanctions against Assad, hoping also that the Syrian leader would leave power.

    However, at the presidential election in Syria held in June 2014, Bashar Assad won a landslide victory, gathering 88.7 percent of the vote.

    The United States still refuses to cooperate with the Syrian government, refusing to include the country in the fight against global terrorism.

    The Islamic State is a Sunni terrorist group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.

    In an attempt to defeat the militant group, the US-led international coalition is currently conducting airstrikes against IS positions in Syria and Iraq. Washington began launching the airstrikes on Syria in September without Damascus’ consent.

    Russia Questions US Calls for Joint Fight Against Islamic State

    US calls to join efforts in the fight against the Islamic State sound unconvincing as Washington has never planned to include Moscow in its ‘global coalition’ while putting Russia on the same priority threat list with IS militants, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

    “Washington has never saw us as a direct participant of the anti-IS coalition, which the US has created in line with its own rules and parameters…without paying respect to international law,” Lavrov said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.

    "Moreover, President Barack Obama has consistently labeled Russia as a global threat similar to IS and Ebola virus,” Lavrov said.

    “In light of these facts, periodic calls by other US officials ‘to join efforts’ in the fight against IS terrorists sound very unconvincing,” the minister added.

    In a speech at the G20 summit on November 15, Obama called Russia's alleged aggression toward Ukraine a "threat to the world," echoing his UN General Assembly speech in late September, in which he listed Russia among the gravest global threats along with the Ebola virus and the rise of Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

    The Islamic State is a Sunni terrorist group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.

    Washington launched airstrikes against the insurgents in Iraq in August and extended its attacks to Syria the following month without requesting an approval from the Syrian government.

    To fight terrorism in the Middle East, Obama created a large international coalition, many members of which are taking part in the airstrikes. Russia has expressed its unwillingness to join any coalitions that bypass the United Nations.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, diplomatic relations, terrorism, Russian Foreign Ministry, Syria, United States, Moscow, Russia
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